Oakland’s season ends in league tournament

By Kristen Davis

The women’s basketball season ended in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League tournament as they fell to the No. 2 Wright State Raiders 95-60 on Wednesday, March 11.

The Grizzlies finish the season 12-18 overall and 6-11 in conference play, which includes an 8-5 record at home.

They tied for sixth place with University of Illinois-Chicago in their second year as a member of the Horizon League.

Although the end of a season is tough to bare, Oakland will see the loss of only three seniors and will return several key players next season.

This includes four of the top five players leading the team in minutes per game and scoring – juniors Elena Popkey and Olivia Nash, and sophomores Sinclair Russell and Nola Anderson.

Popkey was the top-scoring guard for the Grizzlies with 12.4 points per game and she also dished 4.8 assists a night, which ranks fourth in the Horizon Leauge.

On Feb. 4, she scored her 1,000th career point as the Grizzlies defeated Green Bay on the road and handed the Phoenix their first league loss of the season.

Nash was the top-scoring big man with 13 points per game, and she finished just one point shy of hitting her the 1,000mark.

She led the team with 8.2 rebounds per game and her nine double-doubles this season tied for fourth most in the Horizon League.

Red-shirt sophomore Sinclair Russell was named to the all-defensive team after she led the entire Horizon League with 1.6 blocks per game and averaged 6.3 rebounds per game.

Anderson averages 11.6 points per game and has led Oakland in scoring eight of their final 19 games.  

Freshmen forward Leah Somerfield and guard Korrin Taylor were also important players off the bench for the Grizzlies.

Somerfield averaged just 13.2 minutes but scored 4.6 points and recorded 3.2 rebounds per game.

Taylor’s 7.7 minutes a night were crucial for giving other guards rest. She averaged just one turnover a night and with three guards graduating, she will likely get the chance to step up and contribute more minutes next year.

The Grizzlies will also gain a strong recruit in Taylor Jones of Famington Hills Mercy.

Jones was named MLive Detroit player of the week of March 8 after leading Mercy to a Class A district title. She is also a Miss Basketball finalist and averages 21 points per game for the Marlins.

The Grizzlies are 0-2 in the postseason since joining the Horizon League – a record that will hopefully improve next season with the return of an experienced and talented team.